China authorities have no intention of easing the pressure on offshore gambling groups and activities which continue to solicit its residents to gambling via websites and mobile applications.
Cross-Gambling Still an Issue
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the central internet regulatory, oversight and control agency of the country, presented at a meeting of the 2021 National Working Group on Combating and Governing Cross-Border Gambling Networks this week enhanced measures to combat offshore gambling activities on Chinese territories.
The meeting of the group is the latest in a series of announcements made by the Chinese authorities in the recent months related to cross-border gambling after the Ministry of Public Security vowed to crack down on offshore gambling businesses targeting Chinese residents, and the central bank’s pledge to assist the process by targeting capital gains of those businesses.
The surge in online gambling in the country was indicated after authorities cracked down on junket operators and any businesses organizing gambling trips for Chinese people abroad after passing an amendment to its criminal law to provide for jail time for perpetrators.
CAC deputy director Niu Yibing used the meeting to inform that all departments of the agency are increasing monitoring efforts on overseas gambling syndicates which utilize the internet to attract Chinese residents to gambling.
As the crackdown on gambling is entering its critical stage, Niu required all departments to strengthen their efforts and urgency and “earnestly regard cracking down on cross-border online gambling as an important political task”.
Targeting Businesses Facilitating Gambling-Related Activities
The agency outlined 4 key measures where the national crackdown on gambling groups will continue, seeking to target and punish those who facilitate such activities.
The first measure put forth called for “precision strikes” against overseas gambling groups utilizing online promotions and gambling-related live streams, webcasts, social media and other digital assets, and CAC warned it would punish severely online platforms which feature such paid promotion services and spread harmful gambling information.
The second measure is aimed at blockchain platforms and providers of server hosting, cloud storage, communication and VPN services for online gambling activities, enhancing the level of monitoring over them to make sure they do not facilitate gambling businesses. The country already outlined plans to curb trading in cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin mining, forcing major investments in the sector to a halt.
The third initiative is looking to mobilize internet users to report gambling-related information and gambling websites and thus strengthen social reporting and supervision and promote information sharing.
The final measure requires all CAC departments to sync their efforts like in a “game of chess” and coordinate actions, both domestically and abroad, “to resolutely curb the spread of cross-border online gambling activities” so that a “good online atmosphere and social environment” is created ahead of the centenary of the founding of the party and the start of the next 5-year plan.